It was the instrument which Yü and Shun employed. It was the secret of the success of Fu Hsi and Chi Chü. Shall it not then be adopted by mankind in general?"
- Who stand much more in need of regeneration than such worthies as were these ancient Emperors.
Tzŭ Kao, Duke of Shê,
- A district of the Ch'u State.
being about to go on a mission to the Ch'i State, asked Confucius, saying, "The mission my sovereign is sending me on is a most important one. Of course, I shall be received with all due respect, but they will not take the same interest in the matter that I shall. And as an ordinary person cannot be pushed, still less a Prince, I am in a state of great alarm.
"Now you, Sir, have told me that in all undertakings great and small, Tao alone leads to a happy issue. Otherwise that, failing success, there is to be feared punishment from without, and with success, punishment from within; while exemption in case either of success or non-success falls only to the share of those who possess the virtue required.
- I.e. those to whom the issue, as regards their own reward or punishment, is a matter of the completest indifference.
- The term virtue, here as elsewhere unless specially notified, should be understood in the sense of exemplification of Tao.